review Archive

Album Review: Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers – Heart of Memphis

For musicians, one upside of the internet and its associated technological innovations is that the old barriers to entry are largely gone; anyone can make an release an album. Unfortunately, that reality is also a downside for the listening public: anyone can make an album. As such, self-released albums are greeted with a certain skepticism.

Album Review: Hollywood Fats Band — Blues by the Pound Vol. 1

Hollywood Fats (Michael Mann) was a West Coast blues guitarist who died in 1986 at age 32; as the liner notes for Blues by the Pound Vol. 1 assert, he left this earth before earning the fame he deserved. Those uncredited liner notes do lay it on a bit thick, wanting readers to believe that

Diana Krall: Here to Stay

While she is popular the world over, contralto Diana Krall got off to a modest start. Her official debut release, 1993’s Stepping Out earned positive reviews, but it didn’t initially sell in large numbers. Yet that release did bring her to the attention of producer Tommy LiPuma. He produced her second album, Only Trust Your

Album Review: DJ Audio — ‘Hottest in the City, Vol. 1’

When we last checked in on the work of DJ Audio, the Asheville hip hop artist born Ethan Conner had just released an EP, Shut it Down. That collection of tracks drew from a wide range of influences that extended well beyond the confines of hip hop, but because of its relative brevity, the EP

Book Review: “Echoes” by Glenn Phillips

For nearly fifty years, guitarist Glenn Phillips has been making music that defies classification. First with the Hampton Grease Band, and later as a prolific solo artist and active contributor to the works of others, Atlanta-based Phillips has continued to confound those who would apply labels to his music. And now with the release of

Album Review: The New Mastersounds — Shake It

It may well not have been their explicit intention, but over the last two decades, the New Mastersounds have helped a strain of jazz to become mainstreamed into widespread popular culture. Jazz has always been there – at least for a hundred or so years – but with some important exceptions it’s enjoyed only a

Unmarked Exit: Led Zeppelin’s ‘In Through the Out Door’ at 40 (Part One)

Led Zeppelin’s seventh studio album, Presence, was released at the end of March 1976. In contrast with the near-unanimous critical acclaim that greeted the band’s previous release, 1975’s double-LP Physical Graffiti, Presence received a relatively tepid reception. The keyboard experimentation that the band had employed so successfully on the previous few albums was absent, and

Album Review: Young Mister — ‘Sudden Swoon’

Young Mister is the performing name of Steven Fiore, a Tryon-based singer songwriter. His background includes membership in the jazz band led by actor-musician Jeff Goldblum, co-writing experience with Art Garfunkel and eight years as a writer for Universal Music’s publishing arm. Young Mister’s self-titled debut was released in 2016, and 2017 saw the release

Single Review: The Embryos — Singles Club Volume 2

I was already predisposed toward liking this 45 before I heard it; The Embryos’ Open the Kimono (reviewed a few months back) is an instantly likable collection of chiming, catchy pop-rock. “Popular Character” has shades of Raspberries, Pilot and Matthew Sweet. So yeah, it falls loosely into the popwerpop subcategory. But if that’s not your

Album Review: Moraz & Friends – Random Kingdom

In 1976, Swiss keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz released his debut solo album, The Story of I. In the midst of a successful run as keyboardist for Yes – he’s all over Relayer – and a few years after leading Refugee with former members of the Nice, Moraz crafted an album that combined what we might